Procrastinating all year may have worked out in your favor this time. Just about every gym is offering a New Year’s special, or waiving or discounting costly, inexplicable initiation fees to reel in new members looking to fulfill their weight loss resolutions.
Even Equinox, The Best Gym Ever (imo) is waiving their initiation fees. If they weren’t $150/mo, I’d consider it. Planet Fitness is still the best deal in town at just $10/mo, but as I’ve repeatedly stated here, you do get what you pay for.
Around this time of year it’s essential to keep multiple memberships because every facility will be packed. Try working out first thing in the morning or very late at night to avoid the flock of newcomers.
Here’s to a great 2012!
I received this letter from a reader, and was given permission to post it as long as I didn’t reveal a name.
Hey Ko, I just wanted to share this with you since you are blackgirlfit and all lol. I haven’t shared it with anyone else because, I dont know, I think its way too soon to be throwing out there. 4 days ago I woke up and just decided I was gonna do at least a little better. I thought about my “weak” foods, and I decided I wasn’t going have any of them for the whole day (I can only commit to 1 day at a time, Sweet Jesus lol). There are 5 things I said no to and I wrote them on a post it note and stuck it on my computer at eye level: no chocolate, no soda, no cookies, no chips/fries, and no gummy bears (lol sad but true). Thats it, I didn’t say no to anything else, because I don’t really crave other stuff very often, and BABY STEPS! I know me, I can’t jump into anything more restrictive than that this soon. Anyway, suffice it to say I’m halfway through day 4 (no pressure on myself, just making the decision every day). 2 1/2 pounds down! I’m really surprised, considering I’ve not been starving myself at all. Just avoiding the 5 no-nos. Anyway just wanted to share that with ya lol. I’m 41, I don’t want to drop dead out here! ….
My response to her and others reading this is below:
I’m so glad you shared this w/me!!! It really is day to day. Even now, I don’t ‘enjoy’ working out, I don’t completely deprive myself of anything either. But what does happen, is the closer you get to your goals, the more disinterested you become in the excess.
You just have to really stay strong and determined and *never* be too hard on yourself. None of us are perfect!
I’m really rooting for you, and I know you can do this!!
Keep me updated!!!
Apparently, joining the corporate weight loss challenge, or announcing on your Facebook and Twitter feeds that you’re trying to drop a few pounds will sabotage your sexy. It’s an interesting revelation, as I myself tend to be a doer. Running a site like this, I probably should let folks in on the daily process, but I do think once you ink a thought, it holds you accountable in ways you may not be prepared for.
Take yesterday for instance. I had a great ride around Brooklyn–mostly for cost-effective commute purposes, admittedly, and also because I can get just about anywhere faster on my bike over the bus and sometimes the train. The health benefits are a plus, I enjoy it, and my legs are looking better than I expected.
But then I got hungry. Instead of eating a salad like one would expect, I headed to KFC and ordered a crispy strip combo with potato wedges (and a Diet Pepsi, of course). It’d been a while, and I just wanted to eat something that tasted good even if it’ll slowly kill me. I don’t really want to have to answer questions, or have a discussion as to why I’m eating fast food when I’m watching my weight. Sure we talk about it here, but in my daily life, folks aren’t really in on this conversation. Just do what you have to do, and STFU about it.
There are a number of ways to avoid this phenomenon.
“One is simple — you can keep your mouth shut,” Gollwitzer says. “Another one is to form different kinds of intentions, not only say what you want to do but also when, where and how you want to do it.”
Such planning helps create situational action control, he explains. When you find yourself at the gym before work, the situation you mentally mapped out controls your behavior instead of your intention to exercise more.
The third way, Gollwitzer says, is to tell only one or two people who hold power over you (metaphorically) so that they help you stick to your intentions. [SOURCE]
It’s Veteran’s Day! Thank a Veteran for his or her service today; buy that person a drink and give them a hug! It is possible to support the troops but not the war for those of you misdirecting your anger today.
Veterans eat free today at Applebees! Just make sure you come with proof of service to choose one of seven different entrees (including the Fiesta Lime Chicken!) All details are listed on their site.
I posted about this before, but it seemed to fall on deaf ears, or maybe nobody cares. My tweets were all a twitter yesterday, when people found out I only pay $10/mo for my Planet Fitness membership. When? How? Is the deal still on? Can I get the same thing?
Of course you can. Planet Fitness is still running the same deal that I posted about in May. There’s also a $20/mo option for people interested in all club privileges.
Planet Fitness also boasts unlimited tanning, massage chairs, and free personal training with their premium membership. None of those things are of interest to me, or worth the cost of doubling my membership fee, but if you’re in desperate need of a tan after a good workout, now you know where to go.
Giuliana Rancic is one of my biggest idols. I seriously love this woman, and my heart sunk when I heard the news. The big announcement we’d all been expecting was that she and Bill were pregnant, but instead she told Anne Curry and millions of us that she has breast cancer:
Giuliana didn’t even want to have the mammogram; she didn’t see why she would need to. There is no history of breast cancer in her family, and at 36, she thought the screening was premature. Her doctor insisted, and would not prepare her for IVF until she agreed to the screening, and may have just saved her life.
In more uplifting news, football player Larry Fitzgerald is donating 10 cents for every new follower on Twitter, $1,000 for every catch, and $10,000 for every touchdown in October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
I’m about to head to Groupon to search for deals on fitness classes, but here are some articles to occupy you in the meantime:
How Exercise Can Strengthen the Brain [NYT]
How to Fend off Food Cravings [EH]
11 Foods for Healthy Bones [Health]
Train Better: 10 Exercise Machines to Avoid [WH]
Looking for a Fitness Buddy? Get a Dog [Reuters]
Diet and Depression: Can Food Help Fight the Blues? [ABC.au]
A new study shows that if you reach for snacks with your weaker, less dominant hand, you’ll snack up to 30% less. “But I’m ambidextrous!” you say. Then this study isn’t for you!
The researchers conducted the study using fresh and week-old (ew) popcorn. The purpose was to measure how automatic snacking is for some people. Unfortunately, they found that some people need to snack so badly, they’ll even eat something stale or nasty to satisfy their cravings for—anything??
Check the rest out:
People who snacked using their nondominant hands reduced about 30% of their total intake, compared with those using their dominant hands, according to the study, which was published online in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
“If people disrupt the physical sequence of action that is in automatic eating, that’s one way to gain some control,” said David Neal, who had been an assistant professor in psychology at USC at the time of the study. Since then, he has left to start his own company, Empirica Research.
More on the popcorn…
For the study, Neal and his colleagues gave each participant a bag of popcorn – some were stale popcorn (popped a week ago), and others were fresh (popped less than an hour ago).
They sat in a dark movie theater and watched several trailers while they were within convenient reach of their popcorn bags. In questionnaires, they indicated whether they habitually ate popcorn in the movie theaters or not.
After the participants left, researchers weighed the popcorn bags. They found that the people who indicated that they regularly ate popcorn during a movie screening ate about 63% of the popcorn bag – regardless of whether it was stale or fresh.
“If you are the sort of person who bought and ate popcorn a lot in the past, as long as you’re in the environment, you continue to eat the food even when it’s stale and horrible,” Neil said.
Being in the dark movie theater environment with popcorn at easy access seemed to trigger an automatic eating habit, he said.
“People believe their eating is controlled by internal preferences,” he said. “We think how much we eat is guided by how hungry we are or taste of the food options. But in reality, that’s not the case. The environment plays a big role.”
So the researchers altered the environment. Instead of a movie theater, they set up a dark meeting room with music videos projected on a screen with popcorn at the ready. The participants didn’t eat as much popcorn when their environment changed.
For the final study, they asked participants to use their nondominant hand if they chose to eat the popcorn inside a movie theater.
The amount of stale popcorn eaten by habitual popcorn lovers dropped about 30%. The amount of fresh popcorn eaten also dropped, but the difference was slight.
“It’s inconvenient and disruptive to eat with the nondominant hand, but that effect is much stronger when the food is horrible,” Neil said. “It suggests it’s not just inconvenience. It makes you think, ‘Is there a value of what I’m doing? Does this taste good? Am I hungry?’ If the answer is no, you stop eating.”
The researchers borrowed this trick from neuroimaging studies that have shown that people’s habits are disrupted when they’re asked to perform tasks using their nondominant hand. [SOURCE]
I stumbled upon a rant by a Yahoo contributor who seemed very upset at the prospect of KFC, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, etc. accepting food stamps. He’s not alone. There are folks out there ready to (keyboard) protest if McDonald’s lets poor people use their benefit cards to get a happy meal—with a toy even! These are the same people who seem to think being poor is a sentence, rather than a circumstance. Or that it’s somehow enjoyable to not know where your next meal is coming from. Maybe the feds should bring back powdered milk and government cheese. While we’re at it, why don’t we produce Soylent Greens (including the special ingredient)?
Sure there’s gross abuse of the system, and allowing KFC to accept food stamps seems like one of them, but if you are at a poverty level where you don’t have access to maybe even a hot plate, why can’t you get a 2 piece dinner?
Perhaps they should limit it to ‘healthier’ selections if it’s that much of an issue, but if you qualify for the benefits, I say you eat what you want.
If that means you run out of your food stamps in 2 weeks, then next month you’ll be wiser, and cop that hero and free soda from the bodega instead.
I’d much rather eat Hamburger Helper in my middle class apartment with middle class comforts, than eat a bucket of chicken and have to find a vacant bedbug infested subway bench.
Here’s the opposing perspective:
“Welcome to Taco Bell, will this be cash, charge or food stamps?”
Just when I thought I’d heard it all, now fast food restaurants want Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients to be eligible to use their food stamp benefit at selected restaurants. Restaurants such as Taco Bell, KFC and Subway believe that there are certain types of SNAP recipients who are homeless or living in conditions that do not allow them hot meals and these people would benefit from being able to use their food benefit at fast food restaurants.
Fresno, Calif., officials are considering legislation that would permit SNAP benefits to be used at fast food restaurants in their area. Arizona, Michigan and other parts of California already allow the practice and Kentucky is currently considering it.
I already object to the many things that can be purchased with SNAP benefits. Junk food, soft drinks, pre-packaged frozen foods and candy are all permitted under current law. This is really a no-brainer. The law should restrict use of those taxpayer-provided funds to the basic staples: meat, starches, bread, milk, vegetables and cheese. Maybe there should be even an allowance for toiletries. But, it’s a moral crime to have public aid recipients eating better then the very taxpayers who pay for their benefit and a sad reflection of just how far this sense of entitlement has penetrated into our society.
There have been too many times that I watch someone in front of me at the checkout lane pile steaks, roasts and even lamb chops into their cart and then pay for it with a food stamp card. They’re eating better than me, and I work two jobs just to keep my head above water. And, the last time I went grocery shopping, the person even had a birthday cake from the bakery in the cart as well. All paid for with food stamps.
Soon middle class workers will find themselves driving home from work to eat a box of Hamburger Helper because payday is still a week away and the money is gone. Meanwhile, Joe Homeless person is standing in line at KFC waiting for his bucket of original recipe chicken, hot biscuits and two sides. Oh, and he can super size his soft drink too. [SOURCE]
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved botox treatment for bladder control. By injecting the botox into patients’ bladders, their muscles will be relaxed, allowing their bladders to hold more urine.
This will make for some very interesting botox parties…
The face-freezing pharmaceutical injection Botox gained another medical use on Wednesday when the US government approved it for use in some patients with overactive bladders.
The new application was given the nod by the US Food and Drug Administration to treat people with multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury who suffer from urinary incontinence and must manage it with medication or a catheter.
“Urinary incontinence associated with neurologic conditions can be difficult to manage,” said George Benson, deputy director of FDA’s division of Reproductive and Urologic Products.
“Botox offers another treatment option for these patients.”
The new method allows a physician to inject Botox into a patient’s bladder, where it relaxes the muscles and allows more urine to be stored.
Clinical studies showed such injections could decrease episodes of urinary incontinence for a period of nine months.
Botox, which is marketed by the California-based Allergan, is also approved for treatment of chronic migraines, severe underarm sweating, eyelid twitching and certain kinds of muscle stiffness, the FDA said.
The drug is made from a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. In other forms it can cause a deadly type of food poisoning called botulism, according to the National Institutes of Health. [SOURCE]